This is the blog of children's book author and third grade teacher, Stacy Barnett Mozer. I blog about my own writing journey, the journey of other kidlit authors, my classroom, and talk about books. Thanks for stopping by. Your thoughts are always welcome (and encouraged).

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Interview with #YA author Carrie Ann DiRisio

Today I talk with Carrie Ann DiRisio. Carrie Ann is a YA writer and creator of @BroodingYAHero. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA with one large fluffy cat, and is currently pursuing her masters in Digital Marketing, although her true dream is to become a Disney Villainess, complete with a really snazzy gown. In addition to writing and plans for world domination, she also enjoys running, coffee, Krav Maga, and knitting. I met Carrie Ann at the New England SCBWI conference last April. 

Your book, Brooding YA Hero, started as a twitter account. What motivated you to start @broodingyahero?
I mainly started it to make my friends laugh. I had no idea it would be so popular!

Before you started @broodingyahero, did you know that you wanted to become an author?
Absolutely! I've been writing since I was in first grade. My first story focused on me and Han Solo celebrating Christmas together. As he's pretty much the broodiest smuggler in the galaxy, I'm proud to say I've always been on brand.

How did a twitter account become a book?
Through magic and luck and lots of hard work. ;)  In more boring terms, I wrote the book, sent it to my awesome agent, and we shopped it to publishers. Then I ate a lot of Nutella as I waited to hear back. I was really lucky to have an amazing editor, Alison Weiss, who helped me shape the Broody character into the protagonist of his own novel.

Tell us about the book. 
in it, you'll get to know Broody, the archetype character behind all those tweets.  as he attempts to pen Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me, a "self-help" guide (with activities like mazes and word searches) that lovingly pokes fun at the YA tropes that we roll our eyes at, but secretly love. His book is going pretty well, until his evil ex, Blondie DeMeani shows up!

You were introduced to me as a social media expert. What is one piece of advice about social media that you would give a writer who is just starting out? 
To not get overwhelmed by social media! Twitter is fun, but it's no replacement for working hard on your writing craft. Consider it a water cooler where you can take a break, not a place to live. Also, follow @broodingYAhero ;) I kid!

Is there anything else about you or your books you would like to tell us?
It's illustrated by the amazing Linnea Gear (linneart.tumblr.com)

Thanks so much for the interview. To learn more about Carrie Ann and her books, visit her online:

I hope you enjoyed this interview. My hope is to have an interview with a different author or illustrator every Thursday from now until the end of the summer. If you are an author or illustrator who would like to be interviewed, please contact me using my contact page. Please leave a comment below to let us know that you visited and read Carrie Ann's interview today.

Monday, July 17, 2017

#IMWAYR July 17, 2017

Each week I join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers to share all of the reading I've done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer! 

Here's what I read this week:

Middle Grade

Three kids from three different locations and time periods are forced to leave their homes. They each seek a better life but the journey to find that life is full of perils that no kids in any time period, from any background, should have to endure. I picked up an advance reader copy of this book at Book Expo. It releases next week.

This book has been on my TBR list for a while and I was so glad to finally read it. Crow has grown up on an island in Massachusetts with her caregiver Osh and his friend Miss Maggie. She arrived as a baby on a small boat and Osh adopted her as his own, but twelve-year-old Crow knows there is more to her story and her past and when a she sees a man on another island light a fire, she knows it is time to get some answers. That journey will take her to buried treasure and more questions. This book is about family relationships and self-discovery. I hope there is a part two.

Emmiline has the gift of being able to weave shadows into any form. But her gift scares people, including her parents. When her parents decide to force her to give up her gift by sending her away, Emmiline decides to leave. With only her shadow Dar for a friend, Emmiline thinks she will always be alone. When she meets a boy who has the gift of light whose family is more than willing to hide her, Emmiline needs to decide who to trust, her shadow who has always been there for her, or her new friend and family.

Young Adult

When Mia Corvere sees her father killed as a traitor and her mother and baby brother arrested, she barely escapes with her life. But the god of death claims her for another purpose, allowing Mia to use shadows as tools of destruction. The shadows lead her to a retired killer and a very different future. Now sixteen, Mia is competing to join a group of assassins. Once a member she will finally be able to take her vengeance on those who killed her family - if she lives that long.

I read this book when it first came out but had to read it again as I was bing watching the series on Netflix. The book focuses on a boy named Clay who has received audio tapes from a girl named Hannah who recently committed suicide. In the tapes, she explains the role thirteen people had in her death. The series takes this a step further. Through flashbacks of the events narrated by Hannah, as well as scenes from the present when the high schoolers responsible deal with the realizations the tapes share, the series puts faces and voices to the book, making it so much more real. Some schools have warned parents to have their teens avoid this book and series. I disagree. The series may be hard to watch but it brings up important issues that need to be discussed for the protection of our teens and those who spend time with them. 


Stacy Barnett Mozer is a teacher and a middle grade author. If you like what she's been reading follow her on Goodreads. Please leave a comment below. It's Monday, what are you reading?

Monday, July 10, 2017

#IMWAYR July 10, 2017

Each week I join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers to share all of the reading I've done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer! I just got back from Seattle, which inspired one of my reads for this past week. 

Here's what I read this week:

Picture Book

I loved this creative picture book mystery based on the joke. This book is going to be a big hit with elementary schoolers.

Cute story about the origin of the rock, paper, scissors game.

Middle Grade

Kirby "Zig" Zigonski is a normal kid leading a normal life with a single working mom and a dad who is mostly out of the picture. But when his dad stops being able to send money, his mother's salary isn't enough to keep them in their home. This book will be a window book for many readers and will open many eyes. 


This historical fiction novel is considered adult, but I think it's a must read for upper middle grade readers. Henry Lee is a Chinese American man who lives in Seattle's Chinatown in 1986. When he learns that the belongings of many Japanese American families has been uncovered at the local Panama Hotel, he thinks back to his past and to a girl he knew when he was a boy living in Seattle in the 1940s. He was a scholarship kid at a private white school, which was challenging, especially since his father made him wear a large button that said, "I am Chinese." As a scholarship kid, Henry had to work in the school's cafeteria. There he met Japanese student, Keiko Okabe. Keiko lived in Seattle's Japanesetown. The two formed a friendship in spite of the distrust of Japanese people by Henry's father and the American government. When Keiko's community was forced to leave their homes because of the Japanese interment, Henry followed her until their lives moved too far apart to stay in touch. But he never forgot his first love and the findings at the Panama Hotel bring it all back. Told in flashbacks, this book is based on the real belongings found at the Panama Hotel which I was fortunate to visit during my trip to Seattle last week. Reading the book after seeing the "museum" of items left by the actual Japanese families forced to go to the interment camp made the book even more powerful. This is a piece of America's history that we all should take the time to remember.


Stacy Barnett Mozer is a teacher and a middle grade author. If you like what she's been reading follow her on Goodreads. Please leave a comment below. It's Monday, what are you reading?